Pandora Lawsuit Could Impact Music Industry’s Royalty Model

For the past 73 years, the Justice Department has governed licensing organizations ASCAP and BMI to ensure songwriters receive fair royalty rates when their songs are played. Now Pandora is taking on ASCAP in a trial over royalty payments that is being carefully followed by the publishing industry. Music publishers including Sony/ATV and Universal are calling for an overhaul of the system, while tech firms are claiming that publishers are attempting to skirt federal rules designed to protect them.

Continue reading Pandora Lawsuit Could Impact Music Industry’s Royalty Model

Google Exploring 10 Gigabit Internet Connection, Says CFO

Google is continuing to push for change in commercial Internet services, looking beyond the super-fast gigabit connections available in locations such as Kansas City, Kansas and Chattanooga, Tennessee. At a conference in San Francisco last week, Google CFO Patrick Pichette discussed the company’s 10 gigabit experiment, which is exploring connections that are more than 1,000 times faster than today’s average speeds. The news could encourage other providers to also increase their speeds. Continue reading Google Exploring 10 Gigabit Internet Connection, Says CFO

Android: Justice Department Fight Against Piracy Goes Mobile

For the first time, federal prosecutors are targeting people who have illegally distributed pirated versions of apps for Google’s Android operating system. Numerous individuals are currently under investigation, and four men from Oregon and Florida have been charged with copyright crimes. The Justice Department is pursuing criminal charges, rather than going the traditional route with cease-and-desist letters from copyright holders or civil suits, in order to send a strong message to deter piracy. Continue reading Android: Justice Department Fight Against Piracy Goes Mobile

California Looks to Boost Tax Breaks for Film & TV Production

In response to the mounting competition California currently faces from nearly 40 states that offer financial incentives for TV and film production, Democratic State Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra plans to introduce new legislation this month designed to keep production in California. The proposed legislation would increase the state’s $100 million annual budget for TV and film tax incentives. Additionally, it would expand productions eligible for tax credits to include big budget films and network series. Continue reading California Looks to Boost Tax Breaks for Film & TV Production

VIPE: New Virtual Holodeck System Used for Training Simulation

The Army Contracting Command is looking into new technology for effective training methods. Northrop Grumman believes it has a solution with its Virtual Immersive Portable Environment (VIPE) Holodeck technology. The VIPE Holodeck is a 360-degree virtual training system that allows users to participate in simulations, mission rehearsal and data visualization. The technology works by using a Kinect integration navigation sensor, which allows users to feel immersed in the environment. Continue reading VIPE: New Virtual Holodeck System Used for Training Simulation

Tarantino Suing Gawker and AnonFiles.com for Leaking Script

Screenwriter and director Quentin Tarantino is suing online media publisher Gawker Media LLC and the website AnonFiles.com for over $1 million for copyright infringement. Tarantino filed the complaint on Monday after Gawker and AnonFiles.com posted an online copy of “The Hateful Eight,” written by Tarantino. The filmmaker said he was depressed the screenplay had been leaked, and is cancelling all plans to develop the script as his next project.  Continue reading Tarantino Suing Gawker and AnonFiles.com for Leaking Script

Music: Prince Sues Facebook Users for Copyright Infringement

Known for filing copyright infringement lawsuits, musician Prince has targeted 22 individuals for posting links of his live concerts and posting them on Facebook and blogs, and filed a lawsuit for $22 million in damages. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court in the Northern District of California. Only two of the defendants are referenced by their real names in the lawsuit, and the others are referenced by their online usernames.  Continue reading Music: Prince Sues Facebook Users for Copyright Infringement

Hola: New App Skirts Copyright Law to Stream TV Shows, Music

A new Web application named Hola is bypassing copyright laws to deliver content to users who otherwise don’t have access to it. The app essentially unlocks international versions of Netflix so U.S. users can watch shows like “True Grit” or “Community” — only available overseas — whenever they want. By changing users’ IP addresses and making their devices act as routers, content is never copied illegally. Since beta testing began, the app has become incredibly popular, and it could alter the way the Internet operates. Continue reading Hola: New App Skirts Copyright Law to Stream TV Shows, Music

Music Fans Recording Live Performances: Harmless or Illegal?

Crowdsourced music videos of live performances are becoming more and more popular as concert-goers increasingly record shows with their smartphones or cameras. One Neil Young fan named Tom Adams went so far as to piece together multiple recordings of the same performance captured from different angles by other fans in attendance. On top of the video, he added a single audio recording of the concert to create one cohesive video. Continue reading Music Fans Recording Live Performances: Harmless or Illegal?

New Search Engine Gets Its Streaming Music from Live Radio

What if every radio station was searchable and you could look up a song you wanted to listen to, pick one of the stations it was currently playing on, and listen? Radio Search Engine, a new venture by entrepreneur Michael Robertson, allows just that. The site indexes around 40,000 radio stations in real-time and allows users to tune in from the Web. Currently in beta mode, Radio Search Engine essentially turns thousands of radio stations into a searchable music jukebox. Continue reading New Search Engine Gets Its Streaming Music from Live Radio

Research Suggests Strikes Systems Not Curbing Online Piracy

Several countries have launched “graduated response” initiatives in an effort to reduce online piracy, but new findings from U.S. and French researchers suggest the measures do not have the intended effect. Last year, the U.S. implemented its six-strikes system to warn infringing file-sharers, and then penalize them after multiple warnings. Although the penalties range from a fine to a prolonged Internet disconnection, the study suggests this does not prevent piracy.  Continue reading Research Suggests Strikes Systems Not Curbing Online Piracy

Tech Companies Hopeful for Change in NSA Disclosure Policy

President Barack Obama spoke about the National Security Agency last week at the Department of Justice in Washington. The President touched on allowing technology companies to disclose information to the public about the kinds of data the government requests from them. However, he did not address issues such as secret government taps on data centers located overseas and encryption standards, two issues of particular interest to technology and phone companies. Continue reading Tech Companies Hopeful for Change in NSA Disclosure Policy

Apple will Modify App Purchases with More Parental Control

The Federal Trade Commission announced on Wednesday that Apple has agreed to better enforce parental approval of purchases from the company’s App Store. Apple will also refund at least $32.5 million to parents whose children made purchases without their consent. Apple settled a related class-action lawsuit last year, but the FTC said that the problem continued after the settlement, so Apple has agreed to further modify its practices. Continue reading Apple will Modify App Purchases with More Parental Control

Verizon v. FCC: Federal Appeals Court Rules on Net Neutrality

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has struck down segments of the FCC’s Open Internet rules. Ruling on Verizon v. FCC yesterday, the court has determined that the Federal Communications Commission does not have the power to require Internet service providers to treat all traffic equally. And broadband providers are free to charge companies such as Netflix and Google higher fees to deliver content faster, a cost which would likely be passed on to consumers. Continue reading Verizon v. FCC: Federal Appeals Court Rules on Net Neutrality

Broadcasters Head to Supreme Court in Battle Against Aereo

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear an appeal filed by broadcasters against the Aereo online TV service. Disney’s ABC, CBS Broadcasting, Comcast’s NBCUniversal and 21st Century Fox are among those who argue that Barry Diller-backed Aereo violates copyrights by using tiny antennas to access broadcast signals without paying fees. Media companies appealed a decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in April that denied their request to shutter Aereo while legal issues are being addressed. Continue reading Broadcasters Head to Supreme Court in Battle Against Aereo

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